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Daily Legislative Brief from April 29, 2014

Economic Development

HB 325 – relating to Brownfields
On Tuesday, April 29th, HB 325, relating to Brownfields, by Representative Charlie Stone (R-Ocala) and Representative Travis Hutson (R-Palm Coast) was substituted for SB 586 and unanimously passed the Senate chamber. The bill now heads to the Governor for consideration.

The bill clarifies, in statute, the process for designation of a Brownfields area and offers liability protection for anyone responsible for rehabilitation of a Brownfields site. Subsequently, the bill encourages redevelopment in our state’s Brownfields areas.

AIF supports any legislation promoting Florida’s Brownfield Program as it provides a variety of financial and regulatory incentives encouraging parties to voluntarily clean up and redevelop Brownfield sites. By restoring Brownfield sites, the properties return to the tax rolls quicker and become useful to their community. 

HB 685 – relating to Business Organizations
On Tuesday, April 29th, HB 685, relating to Business Organizations, by Representative Patrick Rooney, Jr. (R-Palm Beach Gardens) and Representative Ritch Workman (R-Melbourne) was substituted for SB 654 and unanimously passed the Senate chamber. The bill now heads to the Governor for consideration.

The bill amends the Florida Business Corporation Act to allow for the creation of two new forms of corporate enterprise: the social purpose corporation and the benefit corporation. These new entities will allow businesses to engage in societal benefit programs that may not involve or satisfy the traditional corporate norm of profit maximization. The new forms of corporation are similar, the primary difference being that a social purpose corporation has a specified social purpose or purposes designated in advance, whereas a benefit corporation is to create a general public benefit in a manner selected by management and assessed by a third-party standard.

AIF supports this legislation that will attract new businesses and entrepreneurs to the state of Florida. 

Education & Workforce

HB 487 – relating to Agricultural Industry Certifications
On Tuesday, April 29th, HB 487, relating to Agricultural Industry Certifications, by Representative Jake Raburn (R-Valrico) unanimously passed the Senate chamber. The bill now heads to the Governor for consideration.

The bill would develop a pathway for students to show their expertise in the agricultural industry. The bill requires the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS), in cooperation with the Institute of Food and Agricultural Science at the University of Florida and the College of Agriculture and Food Sciences at Florida Agriculture and Mechanical University, to annually provide to the state board and the Department of Education information and industry certifications for farm occupations to be considered for placement on the Industry Certification Funding List and the Postsecondary Industry Certification Funding List.

AIF supports adding agriculture to industry certifications because it recognizes the critical need for agricultural careers in the state of Florida.